PHOENIX – DriveTime, a used-car sales and finance company, announced the company’s third-annual October SchoolDrive Sales Promotion raised a record $525,000 – nearly a 10-percent increase over last year.

The money, $100 from each car sold during the month of October, benefits DriveTime’s community outreach program called SchoolTime. In 2003, DriveTime created SchoolTime as a way to encourage employee volunteerism and help disadvantaged schools across the country – schools with special challenges such as a large percentage of homeless children, families at or below the poverty level, many families in which English is not spoken in the home, little or no parental involvement, and failing test scores.

SchoolTime began with two pilot schools in Phoenix. Now, three years after its inception, the program has grown to include 20 elementary schools in nine states, reaching more than 14,000 students.

“Our goal with the sales promotion is to create more opportunities for our employees and our schools,” says Jon Ehlinger, spokesperson for DriveTime. “We more than exceeded our expectations, selling more cars and pulling in an additional $51,000 for schools across the country.”

In previous years, the funds were used to buy backpacks and winter jackets and fund field trips, holiday lunches, and beautification projects. In total, the sales promotion has generated more than $1 million for SchoolTime schools.